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GHS Training Deadline Looming

Posted on 5/7/2013 by Joel Gregier

Before December 1, 2013, more than 40 million employees at 5 million facilities nationwide must be trained on new hazard communication standards under OSHA’s new Globally Harmonized System of Classifying and Labeling Chemicals (GHS). The December 1 deadline is the first for industrial facilities working to update their hazard communication standards this year.
 
Many companies have already begun transitioning their hazard labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) to conform with the new requirements, in anticipation of other upcoming implementation deadlines.
 
Training Deadline vs. Other GHS Implementation
 
Implementation of the new GHS rules (including classification, labeling, and creating SDSs) is required by June 1, 2015. However, OSHA’s rules state that “employers shall train employees regarding the new label elements and safety data sheets format by December 1, 2013.” [29 CFR 1910.1200(j)(1)] This is a full year and a half before GHS labels and SDSs must be introduced into the workplace.
 
Why is OSHA requiring training this year? Remember, the purpose of the Hazard Communication (HazCom) Standard is to make sure that employees know what kind of hazardous chemicals they are working with and handling. Employees need to know how to recognize the new labels and read the revised SDSs before they come across them. OSHA’s training deadline assures that employees will be properly prepared for the transition.
 
GHS Hazard Communication Online Training Banner
 
No Need to Wait
 
During the current transition period, employers are required to be in compliance with either the “old” HazCom Standard, the modified Standard containing GHS, or a blend of the two. If employers are worried that their employees might forget what they learned in training over the year and a half, they do not have to wait for the later implementation deadline. It may make more sense to switch over to the new GHS labels and SDSs sooner, so that employees can immediately put into practice what they learned. 
 
Whatever route the employer chooses to take, OSHA has expressed that all employees have the “right to understand” the different hazardous chemicals in their workplace.
 
To help EHS managers and personnel meet the December 1, 2013 deadline and prepare to implement the new GHS hazard communication standard, Lion offers 3 convenient training options: The Managing Hazard Communication Online Course covers critical requirements under the new standard for managers. The Hazard Communication Online Course is designed to help employees recognize new GHS labels and pictograms, control exposure to workplace injury, and read new Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).
 

Tags: GHS, HazCom, osha, training

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